Eskom reacts to 5.23% tariff hike

Eskom has expressed disappointment at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (Nersa) decision to only grant it a 5.23% tariff hike instead of the 19.9% increase it had asked for.

“Eskom notes and is disappointed with the decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa on Eskom’s allowed revenue of R190.348 billion for the 2018/19 financial year. This translates to a percentage price increase of 5.23%,” said the power utility following the regulator’s announcement on Friday.

The power utility had asked Nersa for a 19.9% average increase in electricity tariffs for 2018/19 that will result in total allowable revenue of R219.5 billion.

The regulator made the announcement at a media briefing at the regulator’s offices in Tshwane on Friday.

Nersa initially planned to make the decision public on 7 December. The decision was then meant to be made public on Wednesday.

Eskom said it made its application in accordance with the Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) methodology, which allows Eskom to submit any changes permitted by the methodology.  This corresponded to a revised average standard price increase of 18.9%.

“Eskom will await the regulator’s reasons for decision document for the 2018/19 allowed revenue in terms of the MYPD methodology. This will provide insight into how this allowed revenue decision was made. The reasons for decision document will enable Eskom to make an assessment on the impact to the business and then make a decision on the way forward,” said the power utility.

The regulator’s decision of a 5.23% tariff increase will give Eskom allowable revenue of R190.348 billion.

Nersa said it had followed due regulatory processes in considering Eskom’s revenue application for 2018/19.

On 13 September 2017, Eskom’s application was published on Nersa’s website, along with an invitation to stakeholders to submit written comments.

A total of 23 000 written comments were received from stakeholders, consisting of comments from private individuals, small users, intensive energy users, non-governmental organisations and environmental activists, as well as local government and other stakeholders.

The energy regulator conducted public hearings in eight of the nine provinces of South Africa from 30 October to 22 November 2017.

The public hearings afforded interested and affected stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views, facts and evidence. A total of 96 oral presentations were made.

MECs Mamabolo and Ramokgopa officially hand over new Thelle Mogoerane staff accommodation

Gauteng MEC for the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) Jacob Mamabolo has handed over the newly built 300 bed state of the art Thelle Mogoerane Hospital staff residences in the heart of Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni. The facility was officially handed over to MEC for Health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa.

 

The high performance building which is built to adapt to climate change, houses 50 Intern rooms (Bachelors) and 20 “two bedroom” units. It also has a Creche accommodating 50 children of different age groups, a 250 seater Multi-purpose hall, gym and a Training Centre. Each accommodation block has at least 1 unit for people with disabilities.

 

Speaking during the handover of the facility, Mamabolo said that the delivery of the building was made possible by systems that DID has put into place. These include Lutsinga Infrastructure house, the project nerve centre, which through the use of cutting edge technology enables senior management to monitor projects and intervene promptly where there are blockages. The project nerve is also supported by the Project Readiness Matrix (PRM), which is an in-house developed tool which allows the department to closely assess whether projects go through all the necessary steps before construction can take place. This has assisted DID better manage projects from planning to handover ensuring that they are delivered within time, at the right quality and within cost.

 

“Through this facility our department has demonstrated that we have built internal technical capacity. When you talk about a capable state, DID has shown that the government can fundamentally change the living condition of the people, by building this state of the art facility,” Mamabolo said.

AU refocuses on rural areas

The African Union (AU) has pledged to renew its focus on infrastructure development in rural and remote areas.

Member states recently gathered in Swakopmund, Namibia, for the 2017 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week. Delegates agreed that Africa should up its game in mobilising domestic resources to fund the complete implementation of the five selected projects and promote the maximal use of local content within the beneficiary countries and regions.

The five projects are the Central Corridor (Dar es Salaam to Chalinze Toll Road), Kinshasa-Brazzaville Road and Railway Bridge, Ethiopia-Sudan Power Interconnector, Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Connection and the Batoka Hydropower Plant.

“We want to reach a point where our discussions are no longer focused on our shortage of funds, but rather on our collaboration and concrete accomplishments to leverage PIDA projects for the economic transformation of Africans, especially the youth.

“I call upon all member states to commit themselves to the development of PIDA projects on the ground and to renew their focus to infrastructure development in rural and remote areas,” the African Union Commission’s Infrastructure and Energy Director, Cheikh Bedda, said.

The week was held under the theme ‘The Regional Infrastructure Development for Job Creation and Economic Transformation’.

In their final communique, delegates called upon AU member states, as well as the Continental Business Network (CBN), to provide adequate resources for PIDA project preparation facilities and for the engagement of partner organisations.

They called for bilateral development partners to provide the necessary technical and financial support for the implementation of PIDA Priority Action Plan projects by 2020 and to continue consultations with the African Union Commission to mobilise domestic resources for the preparation of PIDA projects.

Delegates said there was a need for the continent to support the PIDA Model Law and expand it to address issues such as skills transfer, job creation and training. The model law seeks to harmonise cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa and to unlock investment opportunities for the continent.

ANC voting continues as leaders tweet their choices

Outsourced/ Mail & Guardian

Between midnight and sunrise five provinces cast their votes for the top leadership of the ANC, and top leaders were nailing their colours to the mast.

Voting rules barred delegates from taking cellphones and even watches (smart or otherwise) with them as they voted, to prevent a rerun of the party’s Polokwane conference in 2007 where some members took pictures of their ballots, allegedly to secure payment for their votes.

However, there was no restriction on announcing votes after the fact.

By 8AM KwaZulu-Natal delegates were well into casting their ballots, but still outstanding were votes from Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, and Limpopo.

According to a draft programme all of the some 5,000 votes were to be counted during the course of the morning, with an announcement on the winners due late morning or early afternoon.

In the meanwhile the business of the conference was due to go ahead, with the delivery of an organisational report and discussions on finance.

Regardless of who will win, the needs of the people will have to be first priority. It is an interesting time for ANC as this could either strengthen or divide the ANC as to the outcome of the votes.

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